Shmuel Legesse was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he attended local elementary and high school. He has three older brothers and one younger sister. After completing high school, he traveled to the USA and volunteered for two years with an organization that outreaches to homeless and street youth in New York City. He returned to Ethiopia to attend Ethiopia International College and completed his B.A. in religion and communities.
After graduation, Shmuel returned to New York and worked as a social worker for the Administration for Children and Family Services. In 2005, Shmuel became certified as an alcohol and substance abuse counselor. Zionism drew him to Israel and in 2008 he made aliyah. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in the Community Leadership and Philanthropy program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the future, he hopes to become a community activist and mentor young leaders and assist families in need, particularly in the Ethiopian community.